It’s a slushy Saturday here in central Iowa.
A thick, heavy snow began falling in the Des Moines metro at about noon and will continue for the next few hours. About 1.5 inches fell within the first two hours, the National Weather Service said.
Here’s a look at road conditions and other updates.
More:How to check Iowa road conditions, DOT cameras amid winter storms
Roads deteriorate quickly as snow falls fast
As of 3 p.m., the Iowa Department of Transportation reported the majority of streets in southwest and central Iowa were completely covered or partially covered in snow. Tow bans were issued in Polk, Boone, Marshall, Jasper and Dallas counties.
The Iowa State Patrol posted on Twitter it responded to 50 calls for service across the state as of 2 p.m., about two hours after snow started falling in central Iowa.
Deputies responded to 32 calls for a motorist assist and five crashes involving personal injury. They responded to 18 other crashes, in addition to 13 calls relating to property damage.
NWS: Metro could get up to 4.5 inches
Roger Vachalek, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Des Moines, said his office recorded 1.5 inches of snow at around 2 p.m., and expects up to 4.5 inches in central Iowa by the end of the day. He said he expects heavy snow to taper off in the metro around 3 p.m. and continue on until 6 p.m. Saturday.
Vachalek said the snow this time of year tends to be wetter and melt more quickly when it reaches the ground.
“It’s kind of a heavy, wet snow, very kind of slushy as it hits the roads and then you get this kind of a slush mixture because the road temperatures are a bit warmer than they would be in February and January,” he said.
Regardless, Vachalek recommends drivers use caution until the roadways are completely clear.
Cities issue parking bans
Some Des Moines metro cities issued parking bans and snow ordinances Saturday afternoon. Check your city’s social media for more information.
Francesca Block is a breaking news reporter at the Des Moines Register. Reach her at FBlock@registermedia.com or on Twitter at@francescablock3.